Opinons Please: Co sleeping/Bed sharing ( Sorry, A longer read)

Pamalla - posted on 01/31/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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I'd like to hear peoples opinions on bed sharing. I think as long as parents take precautions its fine. Precautions like if your a hard sleeper DONT do it, or a bed side rail to prevent falling they make special ones for toddler beds that work for adult beds too. Stuff like that makes the risks much much less. I dont really think a baby should sleep right next to an adult body because of the risk but if you can make a safe section of the bed for your baby it is ok. I bed share with my baby, He has his special spot on our California king bed he sleeps on a special pillow to stop him from rolling it has a strap to stop him from sliding. I love this arrangement because all i have to do is lift my head to check on him or if he fusses a little I just have to reach over to calm him. It prevents him from waking up completely. I sleep better with him right next to me and I think he sleeps better too. I know that pretty soon he will have to start sleeping in his crib but for now I'm confident that my baby is safe co sleeping with us.

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Cindy - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hi Rebecca. It's also a fact that many more children die or are injured in cots. There are many strangulation incidents in the bedding of cots (my god-son was one). If those children had been in bed with their parents the parents would have been aware of the child kicking and struggling. There are also falls in & from cots, parents putting cuddle toys in the cot or bassinette & overheating issues (if they are in bed with you, you only need to reach out to feel if they are too hot). Research study of brainwaves has also shown that parents sleep more lightly & wake more often when in bed with their children so the risk of overlay is almost non existant when the parent is unaffected by drugs or alcohol or extremely obese. In Australia the health department now recommends (in response to research on saftey) that babies do not sleep alone in a room but sleep in the parent's room, preferably beside their bed in a bassinette or co-sleeper. This is because when babies sleep next to an adult, as they were designed to do, they sleep lighter & are awoken often by the parents movements, their parent's breathing helps to regulate their own & they don't enter very deep sleeps where apneas & SIDS occur. I think it will only be a matter of time before they recommend sleeping in the same bed as they majority of the world do with their kids. Yes, you must take precautions but no more so than the ones you take when placing a baby in a cot. It's just that a cot has become so culturally acceptable that you don't think of them as dangerous.

Amelia - posted on 01/31/2010

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I wont do it with an infant but our 2 y/old does on occasion. I am an EMT and had a 28 day old die in my hands bc her parents rolled on her. No way will my infant be sleeping in bed with us. She is 2 feet away in a bassinet and all i have to do is look over at her to know shes ok. JMO. Unfortunately for my kids my job and my husbands(firefighter) play a big roll in our parenting choices and makes us cringe at others. We try not do force our opinions and choices on others so please dont think i am trying to do that to you. :)

Sandra - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hi, just like to say, I think you have to make the decision that feels right for you and your family. I loved sleeping with my children in my bed and think I got a better night's sleep, so easy to breastfeed etc. My youngest slept in our bed until he was three and went into his own bed and room with no problems. I have a friend who never bothered with cribs and all three of her boys slept in a 'family bed' which was two double beds pushed together. When her youngest saw a picture of a baby in a cot, he said 'why is that baby in a cage'? Which makes you think....? I agree we are mammals and all other mammals sleep with thier babies. But having said all that, if you're not comfortable with it and it doesn't work for you, plenty of babies sleep in cots and are fine! I wouldn't recommend putting a baby in a room on their own under a year old though, I think you need them close by.

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i think having children is about using your god giving minds to make choices based on our little ones needs.in my case my first was not up to sleeping in her cot .i left her to cry it out even though it made me feel like crap to hear my precious child cry and thinking what must she be thinking.i tried my best to do the ''right'' thing.



I realised my child has her own individual needs and i as her mother need to listen to her needs.i took her into my bed for her needs not mine.I would of gladly of got up every 15-20 mins she woke up and screamed for me to hold her and comfort her.she slept right through once in my bed.as i say she went to her own bed at 3 and now shes five and pushed to give me a kiss or cuddle at the school line every morning lol ..

My second child took to her cot straight away and her needs were different and i met those needs.It is something you have to give care and attention to having them in there bed just as much as you have to give attention to them in there cot.there's dangers from doing lots of things were babies are concerned.What we chose to do to meet our baby's needs are our choice and we only have ourselves to answer for those choices.

Jocelyn - posted on 01/31/2010

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We did not do this at all. Chose not to. Of course, as infants, they cannot ask, but we never took them into our bed. They even slept in their cradle, home form the hospital, in another room.
Later, sometimes when my husband was on nights at the fire hall, one or the other would ask to sleep in mommy's bed. I kept it as a special thing so it was never expected by them except once in a while as a treat. Even now, at 13, my daughter will sometimes ask "can I sleep in your bed tonight Mom?" sure. I like the company once in a while, so it is nice :-)
It worked out well for us.

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Pamalla - posted on 01/31/2010

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Helen : Answer to your question: We sleep with our own blankets and Alexander sleeps with his own. Also I dont get cold easy, I sleep with the same blanket that I sleep with in the summer. Thanx for posting. :)

Minnie - posted on 01/31/2010

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I already answered your question in the BF moms community but here it is again:

I am a mammal, and no other mammal sleeps apart from its young. That seals the deal for me. She's supposed to sleep with me. Everything about human infant physiology demands that they sleep in close proximity to its mother.

Bedsharing is safe as long as certain precautions are taken and is important for baby's development.

I personally don't use cribs, and I don't see a need for my daughter to leave our bed before she's ready to. Someone else said (and this is so true) cribs exist solely to be recalled. How many babies have died in cribs?

Bedsharing is natural and normal- how our species has slept with its young for as long as it has existed. It's so silly how things have flipped and bedsharers need to defend their decision. It should be the other way around.

For Annabel: Since you say you are a nurse and claim to have read a lot on the subject I'm sure that you are aware of the extensive research done by Dr. James McKenna (who has made it his life's work to study bedsharing). Here it is again if you would like to read it:

http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/articles...

Rebecca - posted on 01/31/2010

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my daughter sleeps with me about 4 nights out of the week. we snuggle up together alllll the time. I've always shared a bed with someone, mainly my twin sister until we were 15. Then at 17, I started dating my husband so of course we slept together in a kid bed(twin size, get it? haha.) So when our daughter was born in August (she's 6 months now) I had nooo problem letting her sleep with me. And, she was sleeping all the way through the night at just 1 month. She likes to prop her legs up on mine or prop them up on my mom belly. I don't lay her parallel to me most nights, but on her side so if I do roll, the most I'll roll on is her toes.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this. Babies have slept with their parents throughout most of human exsistance.

If you want to break your son of sleeping with you, i would try putting him in his crib when he gets sleepy and see if he likes it. My daughter has to have a toy with her when she goes to bed in her crib so when she wakes up she can play with it instead of kicking mommy until she wakes up.

Kristi - posted on 01/31/2010

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I'm not too fond of bed sharing. I feel that my bed is for my husband and I (and our Cocker Spaniel) and that we should have a place where it's just our space. The rest of the house is over-run with toys and what not from our son. We deserve one place that's not. However, if we're traveling (which we've been doing an awful lot lately), our son sleeps in the bed with us. We have found that he's just usually more comfortable that way. But as soon as we get back home, he's back to his crib.

One of my cousins decided to co sleep with her baby after she was born. Her daughter is now 6 yrs old and refuses to sleep in her own bed! This can't be good for a marriage or any other relationship with a significant other. And I know that for me personally, I wouldn't be able to fully relax with my son right next to me. But, this is just my opinion.

Casey - posted on 01/31/2010

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I believe in co-sleeping. My oldest slept in my bed, my 2nd had a co-sleeper on my side of the bed but attached because our oldest was still in my bed. And now my little one still sleeps with me (she'll be 2 in April) and we both sleep better still at this point with her being in my bed. I wouldn't change it for the world and if I am ever blessed with another child then I will have them co-sleeping also

Helen - posted on 01/31/2010

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i would never have cosidered co sleeping as my partner is a very heavy sleeper. My little man had a rocking crib that was pushed up hard to my side so i just had to reash over. i always made sure i sat up when i fed him so that i could not fall asleep. we were lucky as he slept through from 5 weeks. at 4 months we put him in his own room. we always had a SIDS proof baby monitor (alarm if no breathing or movement for 10 sec) which really helped to reasure me. PS how do you co sleep in the winter when it is cold and you need to sleep with a thick duvet?? just curious

Nakita - posted on 01/31/2010

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hi yes i use to sleep with my lil one in bed with me, but not every night, she 6 months and i'd say the most she'd ever sleep in the same bed as me, was for about A month 1/2, and not a straight month 1/2 either, spread out, i have to say i am a very heavy sleeper on my own, but when i have my baby in bed with me, i wake up every 10 mins!! sometimes its crazy the amount of times i wake during the night with her in my bed with me. Its called motherly instincts. And REBECCA- Who in their right mind do you know that would sleep with their child, drunk,on meds/drugs and etc.. I for one can't say i know anyone that would do that, because its the most stupidest thing i every heard, i don't know what kind of friends you have, that sleep with their kids drunk and high on drugs, but i say you need to get some new friend!!

Julie - posted on 01/31/2010

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my twins share a bed with me and my husband sleep in another bed in the other room better for him as he leaves for work early and needs to sleep as he is a driver both the twins suffered with colic so for me to get some sleep the only way was to have them sleep with me and they have ever since

Daphne - posted on 01/31/2010

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Wow... I actually never even considered co-sleeping, European beds are a lot less wide than American ones, so there wouldn't even be room. Besides that, the few times I let my baby (now 5 months) sleep in our bed I slept very very lightly. Those few times I only let her sleep with us because she was very restless in the very early hours and needed her pacifier back every couple of minutes.

Erica - posted on 01/31/2010

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I am glad that it is working so well for you and many people that have responded. However, it just wasn't worth the risk for me. I exclusively breastfeed my girls but I just got up too feed them until they were three months and started sleeping through the night.

Erin - posted on 01/31/2010

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i agree, my daughter slept in the bed with me and my partner for nearly 7 months, we never have any trouble with, and all three of us had a much better night sleep from it :)

Rebecca - posted on 01/31/2010

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Sounds lovely, and like it's working for you. My kids all slept in a bassinet by my bed until they grew too big for it, then moved to a cot which I also would have had beside my bed if there had been room! I have always put them to bed in their own beds initially, but will keep them with me from that 5am-ish feed (the youngest still wakes for that). If they are sick they often end up in my bed, and if they have bad dreams. That has worked for us. I couldn't have them in my bed all the time because it just didn't work with different bedtimes and I sleep lighter when they are there (worried they'll fall!) I also have 3 that I'm getting up to at various times, so never wanted to wake the baby when I was getting up to one of the other 2.

On a different note, I do have to say this in response to Emily's post... I am in no way criticising what you do with your kids, but just wanted to clarify a bit of information in your post, in case of other readers... The idea that cosleeping can be dangerous and is linked with higher accident and mortality rates (though these are still very low) is a FACT. People can roll on their baby and smother them - it does happen on occasion. If you are a deep sleeper, on medication, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs (or your partner is) these can all increase the risks. For me, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't sleep in the same bed as your baby - as a few posters have described there are some wonderful positives - but please anyone reading this do be conscious of the risks and don't dismiss them. I'm sure everyone who has posted has taken precautions to protect their kids - I am not passing judgement. I am just concerned someone else may read the particular earlier post and think the risks aren't real. It is a very high price to pay if we aren't careful...

Sorry - my 2 cents worth...

April - posted on 01/31/2010

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I think sleeping with your baby is a great way of bonding with your child, and it makes it a lot easier to feed in the middle of the night (if you are breast feeding). I don't think that you should let your childs sleeping with you interfere with you and your significant other for those intimate moments tho, that is when the baby needs to go to their crib for a bit. So as long as the baby doesn't stay in bed with you till they are a teen, its all good.

Sara-lou - posted on 01/31/2010

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I couldn't agree more my first baby slept with me from a few weeks till 18 months and the only reason i put him into his cot then was because i had a new born who was waking him up threw the night... The only reservation i have and the reason i haven't bed shared with my youngest is because it was a nightare to get him 2 sleep in his bed on his own.... He's 2 1/2 now and still try's to sneek back into my bed in the middle of the night. He no's how to get round me tho he sneeks in then wrap's his arms around my neck n kisses my head.... how can i send him back to bed after that lol xxx

Anabel - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hi Pam, I would like to comment on your post: as a mom and as a professional nurse, As a mom I knew that most moms think of what ever is convenient for both us and and our baby and you are right that most of us will be very comfortable when our baby sleeps just beside us and most probably our baby feels same way too, I do the same with my 2 li'l boys when they were younger, but as professional nurse, I did a lot of readings recently especially when I started to work abroad and I found out that still the safest place for the baby 0-6months old to sleep is on the same room with us but on a separate bed/ CRIB.

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hello my first baby girl who's five now slept in my bed from a few weeks to 3yrs lol but i didn't mind she is very attached to me still is and she hated being in her own space.i don't regret a single day of it.those 3yrs were so special and bonding for us.now shes five and pushed to give her mommy a kiss and hug at the school line lol.i was nervous for a good while but she wasn't a wriggler.

Having that said my second child who's one got into my bed one morning and i went back to sleep.i woke to see her feet.she was under the blankets i never felt so sick i could of smothered her.she is a very big wriggler and for her her own space is vital.Shes a completely different little miss and likes her own space anyway she slept in her cot from birth.:)

So i think you just no your child's way of sleeping and will no if there one for co-sleeping.its also very important that you no the safety measures and the pros and cons.with that done you should be able to enjoy co-sleeping with your little one.

Pamalla - posted on 01/31/2010

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Thank you all For responding!! I Posted this to start a conversation and get peoples opinions. I'm really hopeing people open up like Emily did. That really what I'm looking for. I really just want to know what people think. I'm going to keep doing what works for us. I'm not looking for someone to tell me what to do. I'm a people watcher and I like hearing what people have to say.

Stephanie - posted on 01/31/2010

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Thats the best thing about being a mom, the moments that make us cry. The first time Jaden called me mommy i balled like a lil baby. With him and his nightmares, he gets them alot he has been through a lot in his life, everytime i think about it i want to cry.

Emily - posted on 01/31/2010

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i would agree with you that your child is perfectly safe in your bed however with that being said, i should also say this...i have 5 kids the older 3 i never let sleep with me they were always in there own beds, but with the younger two 3 and 1 they were allowed to sleep with us almost from the beginning. unfortunatly, i now have a 3 year old who cannot sleep unless he is being touched by me. he must feel my body next to him or my hand on his back. my child is unable to stay asleep if i leave the bed so it is really starting to be a pain now. but i will also tell you that my older 3 also seemed to follow me around from room to room the same as my toddler does now so i dont think there is a really good answer for this. if you are more comfortable with him in your bed than leave him in your bed. if you dont mind him sleeping with you then enjoy the bonding that will come from the night time cuddling. some say thats its a bad idea to let them sleep with you and i both agree and disagree. i do know that they will eventually get out of your bed but i havent had anyluck until they are 5 to 6 yrs old then they seem ready to leave the nest. so i say do what works for you and your family and dont worry about what others think you know your child and yourself and do whats best for you guys but i am sure he is completely safe there. babies arent as fragile as you may think and there id even an old wives tail about wanting them to fall out of bed before they are a year old, of course dont push your kid out of bed but even a fall is not gonna hurt them just scare them, and even the soundest sleepers are aware of there baby beside them as they sleep so i wouldnt even worry about the roll over and squish them thing either, chances are even if you were to roll onto them a little they are gonna fuss or wiggle or something to get your attention so i wouldnt stress about it, enjoy your sleep with your baby just beware of the long term effects of sleeping with them if you and your husband ever want a love life again.

Pamalla - posted on 01/31/2010

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OH!!! Alex has started that kinda he fusses and I reach over and he grabs my hand and falls right back asleep I love it. The first time he did it I almost cried because it made me feel so loved.LOL.

Stephanie - posted on 01/31/2010

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i totally agree with you my son slept in bed with me till he was 10 months old. We both sleep better when were next to each other. I also put him in bed with me when he has nightmares. Now that he is 18 months old, when he sleeps with me he will hold on to me lol. I think its kinda cute

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